Miyoo Mini user handbook: A quick how-to guide

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Written By Paulo Papa

Father, nerd, writer.

Looking to pick up a Miyoo Mini, or just got one in the mail? Follow this guide to get the best out of it!

The Miyoo Mini is arguably one of today’s most popular retro handhelds, praised for its surprisingly good build quality and respectable emulating capabilities.

With prices hovering around the $60 mark, it’s no surprise that many retro gaming fans — myself included — were excited to get their hands on the Miyoo Mini.

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That said, here’s a how-to guide for those who want to quickly get started using this awesome device.

Miyoo Mini V2 Specifications

Here are the full specifications of the Miyoo Mini V2:

  • Display: 2.8-inch 640 x 480 pixel IPS screen
  • CPU: 1.2GHz Dual Core SSD202D
  • GPU: 2D Graphics Accelerator
  • RAM: 128MB
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Ports: USB-C port, microSD slot and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dimensions: 93.5mm x 65mm x 18mm

But before we begin, let’s look at what comes with the Miyoo Mini.

Miyoo Mini in white

I was fortunate enough to get the chance to play with the Miyoo Mini handheld console early on. I have a V1 unit that came in a box instead of the popular carrying case that now comes with the V2 units.

Inside the box is the device itself with the generic SD card in it, a standard USB-C charging cable, a card reader, and a manual.

Miyoo Mini: Where to buy?

We recommend purchasing a Miyoo Mini from trusted and vetted resellers. Miyoo has an official store on AliExpress where the Miyoo Mini is sold for ~$60.

On Amazon, it’s slightly pricier at $73 but that’s the cost you pay for the Amazon convenience + fast shipment.

> Miyoo Mini V2 on Amazon
> Miyoo Mini V2 on AliExpress

Recommended Tools

While the stock SD card has so far worked for me, many Miyoo Mini owners recommend replacing the unbranded memory card with a branded one.

For those looking to keep a large library of PS1 games, upgrading to a 64GB SD card seems perfect. Similarly, the stock card reader is bound to fail, so it’s best to invest in a branded card reader too.

Recommended:

> SmartQ C368 USB3.0 card reader
> 64GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC

Miyoo Mini: Basic Operation

Pressing and holding the power button for at least one second will boot the device. Pressing it once will put it to sleep, another tap on the power button will wake the screen.

The stock firmware offers several options once the device is powered on. In the Menu, you’ll find Recent, Favorite, Game, RetroAcrh, App, and Setting.

Recent shows you the most recent games you opened while Favorite will give you a list of your liked titles. To add a game to your favorite list, simply highlight the game and press the Menu button. Here, you will have the option to open the game, add it to your favorite list, or remove it from your library.

Under “game”, you’ll see a host of stock emulators for various platforms. Mine came with an emulator for some of the most popular consoles like Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, SEGA, and PlayStation. You’ll be surprised at the large library the stock SD card comes with, but you can always delete what you don’t need.

Other Menu options like RetroArch, App, and Setting are pretty straightforward.

Miyoo Mini: How to update firmware?

Miyoo Mini

One of the first few things you’d want to do with your Miyoo Mini is to update its firmware. The April 2022 update adds several new features and allows you to install custom operating systems (OS) such as Onion and MiniUI.

Here are the steps you need to follow to update the firmware on your Miyoo Mini:

  1. Download the latest firmware from Miyoo’s website, unzip the file.
  2. Get your SD card, load it into the reader, and plug it into your computer.
  3. Go to the unzipped folder, select “The firmware,” copy the “.img” file, and paste it to the SD card root.
  4. Go to the “TF card” folder; copy the “Emu,” “miyoo,” and “RetroArch” files; and paste it to the SD card root.
  5. Eject the SD card reader from your computer, take the memory card, and insert it to the Miyoo Mini.
  6. Get your charging cable, attach it to a low-wattage wall adapter, and plug the Miyoo Mini.

At this point, the Miyoo Mini will automatically boot and install the updates. It’s important that you do not touch the device whilst in the process of updating the firmware as you may risk bricking the Miyoo Mini.

  1. Wait for the Miyoo Mini to restart and show the battery charging screen.
  2. Unplug the device and remove the SD card.
  3. Take the card, load it into the reader, and plug it into your computer.
  4. Search for the “.img” file and delete it.

We recommend you try out the standard operating system first. If you play for nostalgia’s sake, then the stock OS should be fine. However, if you like to maximize what this open-source console has to offer, then install Onion or MiniUI.

Here’s how you do it.

Miyoo Mini: How to install Onion OS?

Photo from Onion GitHub

With the latest firmware running on your Miyoo Mini, you can now install Onion OS.

To install Onion OS on your Miyoo Mini, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Onion GitHub releases website and download the latest OS release.
  2. Unzip the file and look for a folder named “.tmp_update.”
  3. Copy the file and paste it to the SD card.
  4. Remove the SD card reader, take out the card and place it into the Miyoo Mini.
  5. Boot the device to commence OS installation.

Miyoo Mini: How to install MiniUI?

If you still want to unlock the full potential of the Miyoo Mini but are looking for a simpler and more straightforward experience, you might want to check out MiniUI.

Here are the steps you need to go through to install MiniUI on your Miyoo Mini:

  1. Go to the MiniUI GitHub website and download the latest OS release.
  2. Unzip the folders and copy the contents to the root of your SD card.
  3. Remove the SD card reader, take out the card and place it into the Miyoo Mini.
  4. Boot the device to begin MiniUI installation.

Now that your Miyoo Mini has the latest firmware and is running on your preferred OS, you’re ready to go.

If you download ROMs, say for a new PS1 game, simply hit the Menu button on the Miyoo Mini and select Refresh ROMs.

How to customize boot screen

Here’s a guide that will help you customize the boot screen on your Miyoo Mini:

ALSO SEE: The Best Anbernic Handhelds, Ranked

Summary

The Miyoo Mini is a might fine handheld for retro gamers. With a strong community, plethora of aftermarket mods, and a thriving list of consoles it emulates, it’s definitely one that will keep getting better.

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